This training will provide information on BIST’s Legal Education Awareness Project (LEAP), a web-based toolkit developed in partnership with the Law Foundation of Ontario to increase knowledge and awareness of challenges faced by persons with brain injury in the justice system. The presentation will include an overview of the design and resources included in the toolkit, testimonials from persons with lived experience, as well as a presentation on a support and soothe toolkit created to assist persons with anxiety in stressful situations.
1. To gain an understanding of the rationale for designing the ABI Justice Toolkit and the tools and resources found within it.
2. To hear from persons with lived experience on their challenges when dealing with the legal community as well as practical tools and strategies to assist them.
Melissa Vigar is the Executive Director of the Brain Injury Society and has worked in the field of brain injury for almost twenty years, supporting individuals and families in both the non-profit and private sector. Melissa has overseen the design and implementation of several ABI community based programs that focus on community integration, poverty reduction, resourcing and support coordination. She currently sits on the ABI Network Advisory Committee and is the co-chair of the Ontario Brain Injury Association’s Advisory Committee and the Civilian Co-Chair of the Toronto Police Beyond Disabilities Consultative Committee.
Katie Manikas has over 18 years in ABI services, providing support in both residential and community service settings. Katie has worked in front line service delivery and manager roles to provide community advocacy, client support and program development for poverty reduction and homelessness prevention for ABI services. Currently, Katie is working as a Private Consultant for program development/proposal writing in addressing service gaps for non-profit agencies across the province.